Ole Miss enters chase for sophomore LB Tausili Akana

Tausili Akana and Isaiah Tuliloa of Rebel Squad were in business mode at the latest Pylon tournament in Arizona. Photo courtesy of Tausili Akana.

Tausili Akana is crossing borderlines again.

Ole Miss is the latest football program to make a scholarship offer to the 6-foot-4, 220-pound sophomore.

“It’s a big surprise to get my first SEC offer. Ole Miss is a very well-known program with great history and coaches,” Akana said on Wednesday morning. “One of my favorite movies of all time is ‘Blind Side.’ I’m excited for this opportunity. It makes me want to work harder.”

Akana is fresh off the heels of a stellar performance at a Pylon tournament held in Bullhead, Ariz., where 24/7 Sports named him one of the top five defensive players. Beyond football, Akana has stepped away from his other favorite sport, but still works out on the hardwood occasionally.

Rebel Squad went 5-1 at a Pylon tournament in Bullhead, Ariz., in January. Photo courtesy of Tausili Akana.

“I still play hoops with NSB (North Shore Basketball),” Akana said.

A video of Akana dunking off the dribble recently didn’t hurt. It doesn’t exist on social media, but has been sent to interested recruiters.

“I think everything helps. (Ole Miss assistant coach) Coleman Hutzler saw the dunk video and was very impressed,” he said. “With no in-person recruiting going on, any type of video helps.”

Akana now has 12 offers total from a variety of conferences: Pac 12, Mountain West, Big Ten, Big 12 and, now, the SEC.

His play at the Pylon tournament was with Rebel Squad, coached by Sola Soliai, Sterling Carvalho, Lesa Maiava and Warner Pukahi. The team went 5-1 in the tourney. Akana played outside linebacker, a position he got more familiar with while playing at Wasatch (Utah) last fall.

Currently, Akana is enrolled at his home district school, Kahuku, for online classes. He plans to return to Kamehameha for junior year. He may never play for the Red Raiders, but suiting up to compete with his childhood friends is a lifelong memory.

“Being able to pay with the guys I played with on Big Boys, we did a lot of bonding with each other. It was good to catch up with my friends on the team,” Akana said.

Even with double-digit scholarship offers, the opportunity to play in the Pylon tourney opened more doors.

“Due to the 24/7 (Sports) recognition and article, other schools will hopefully reach out,” he said.

Ole Miss did.

Another mainland tourney is coming up.

“I’m preparing for another big Pylon tournament in late April in Mesquite (Nev.). I’ll be back with TMF and Coach Kawe Johnson,” he said.

Prior to transferring to Wasatch, Akana was at Kamehameha as a freshman. It feels like a lifetime ago. His plan is to return to Kapalama Heights, but Wasatch will welcome him back if high school football in Hawaii is still a no-go this summer and fall.

“I hope Hawaii high school decides to have a season. Hopefully, things start opening up here in Hawaii. I know one thing: Wasatch will have a full football season. Next season is a big year for me,” he said.

Akana doesn’t rule out the possibility of remaining at Kahuku this fall. Preparation in the spring is crucial, he said. The state has circled May 1 as a tipping-point date on the calendar for mass vaccination success, if the plan is executed. At 400,000 vaccinations per month, a majority of the state would be vaccinated by then, according to Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

The utility of social media has made communication and exposure more streamlined for island athletes.

“Hopefully, this opportunity opens up for other Hawaii kids. There is always good talent here in Hawaii,” Akana said.

Akana had a 3.8 grade-point average in his first term of the 2020-21 academic year at Wasatch.

Tausili Akana, Kamehameha/Wasatch, OLB, 6-4, 210
Offers: 12
Utah 6/20/19
BYU 6/20/19
Hawaii 6/21/19
Arizona State 6/30/20
UNLV 8/27/20
Oregon State 9/8/20
Utah State 9/14/20
Nebraska 10/16/20
Oklahoma State 11/16/20
Oregon 12/21/20
Washington State 12/25/20
Ole Miss 3/3/21


  1. ??? March 3, 2021 1:16 pm

    This kid is only getting bigger & better; the only downfall is he will Never win a championship @ Kamehameha as long as the Lee’s are coaching @ St. Louis!
    His chances to win a championship are way better playing for Kahuku; even if he doesn’t win a state title, he’s almost guaranteed an OIA title. Sad but True..
    Good luck & stay healthy.

  2. ILoveHawaii March 3, 2021 2:49 pm

    You’re right about that.

    BTw, Kahuku got a QB?
    Ive heard so much.
    This kid left RRville to go to Millville because he not getting any love, but actually left Nevada cuz he wasnt getting love there.
    This kid left Millville to go to RRville because the HC told him he’ll never ever play QB again as long as he is the HC.
    Then talk of kids going to the mainland for opportunities.

    Gosh so much drama. Not to mention, one kid at Pac-5, then going to Radford now is at Millville. Actually, there have been many transfers into Millville recently. Hopefully it pays off.

    AND a serious question, How do you transfer your success in 7 on 7 to actual football?
    There are several community teams on social media that look solid, but, not so solid when they play 11 v 11.

  3. ??? March 3, 2021 5:06 pm

    a lot of 7-7 Pylon teams consist of kids from different schools playing together like an all star team, so when they go back to their regular 11 on 11 team they don’t look as good.
    There will always be kids that look great in 7-7 but when they put on the pads they look totally different. Why? They know they are not getting SMASHED on a crossing route over the middle, the QB knows he’s not getting HAMMERED from a DE from his backside/blindside or CRUSHED in his chest from a DT right up the A gap. Just an example.

  4. Ash March 3, 2021 11:36 pm

    I’ve seen the pylon get some kids getting whacked but definitely QBs have only the clock to worry about which is a huge difference.

  5. ILoveHawaii March 4, 2021 8:14 am

    not to mention, qbs dont have happy feet in 7v7, but its a different thing to read your progression with a line in your face.

    I really miss HS football.

  6. Falcon Future March 4, 2021 8:51 am

    OK wait, so if I follow this story correctly, this kid was at Kamehameha first, then transferred to Wasatch in Utah to play football, then came back to Hawaii right after the football season to enroll at Kahuku online so he could travel with this 7v7 team, and his plan is to go back to Kamehameha next school year?

    I can see how that is working out great for him for football, but that’s still a little messed up for school. I would think Kamehameha would have something to say and maybe not be so happy to just allow kids to jump back and forth from their campus when so many others are waiting to get accepted in.

  7. ILoveHawaii March 5, 2021 8:58 am

    I dont think he had to enroll into Kahuku to play with the 7v7 team.
    To your point tho, I am sure there are many other young Hawaiians on the wait list that would be happy to take his place on the Hill.
    Is he afforded the chance to return?
    That is a really good conversation to have.

  8. Good Story March 5, 2021 9:49 am

    KS has a rule in place that allows current students to leave and return the following school year. A student can’t leave and return mid year. When students leave, they are replaced by another student for a full year. So to answer your question; he can return in August of this year.
    Yes, I’m pretty sure he didn’t return just for 7 on 7 pylons. You can do pylons from anywhere!! I know the kid really wants to be home, but once again Football is a HUGE ?
    We will see what this kid does. But, Ive followed this kid and their Ohana. He is legit, and he will only get better and better.

  9. B Lot March 5, 2021 5:44 pm

    That is highly questionable transfer policies by Kamehameha. Someone in admissions is making big time exceptions that I guarantee aren’t allowed for all students.

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